• Welcome to Mr. Silmser's ELA Classroom

    My goal is to coach you through the process of becoming a better reader, writer, speaker, and listener.  These are skills that will give you the edge in your personal and professional life.  Good ELA skills don't just help you have lots of options for getting a good job.  Good ELA skills will help you become a good citizen, community member, family member, or friend.  In other words, strong ELA skills have a positive influence in every area of your life.
    Mr. Silmser is a weird guy who enjoys helping 7th graders learn and mature.  He has high expectations, but he will work with students and parents to achieve those goals.  
  • 2014-2015 Teaching Schedule:
      Day 1   Day 2
    Connections  Connections 
     Period 1-2 Advanced ELA 7 Advanced ELA 7
     Period 3-4 Advanced ELA 7  Prep (Mrs. Phillips Teaches the Class)
     Period 5-6  ELA 7   ELA 7 
     Period 7  Prep  Prep

  • Does My Child Have Homework?  What's this I hear about Independent Reading?

    Students DO have regular, ongoing, very important homework.  They should be reading AT LEAST 30 minutes per day (200 minutes per week).  They should be logging in on Biblionasium.com and making comments for each chunk of reading.  They should also record time read and page numbers.  If you would like to see your child's reading log, please have him or her invite you to be on their account.  They will email you an invitation, and you can view things first hand.
    Students can choose the books they will read, provided they are choosing books that are appropriate for their age level.  We have been talking about how to select books using the lexile number as a guide. We go to the media center every other week as a class, but there are many other times students can stop by the school library.  In addition, I would encourage a regular trip to the county library.  
    According to much educational research, regular sustained reading is one of THE BEST things your student can do in order to prepare for high school and beyond.  Modern television, video games, internet sites, and other entertainment options have actually conditioned our brains (yes, adults too) to prefer quick spurts of information.  There is nothing inherently harmful about these innovations; however, without balance, they can put your child at risk for lacking the persistence and creative thinking they may need in high school, college, trade school, career, and life in general. 

     If you have a child who is resisting reading, it is probably because they have a hard time tapping in to this side of their brain. It may even be something that they say they HATE.  The only cure is finding a good book, a good spot to read, and just doing the reading.  Over time, the HATE will diminish.  It may not be an easy thing to do, but most students will eventually find success if parents and teachers are supportive and persistent.  The payoff for any strife you experience as a parent is well worth it for your child in the long run.    

    Reading a long text such as a novel or biography over regular, sustained intervals helps nurture the parts of the brain that can help a child build deep-thinking skills and explore big ideas--The kind they will need to be successful in the modern workplace, flourish in society, and find fulfillment in relating to others.  Please help me support this habit in your student.  It's not something that can happen during the school day alone.  If your child is battling you about it, I can assure you--it’s a battle worth fighting.

    Andrew Silmser
    7th Grade ELA
    Anoka Middle School for the Arts-Fred Moore Campus
    Anoka, MN